"TRIAL" SYNOPSIS: THE PERFUMED PRINCE MAKES HIS DEBUT (WESLEY CLARK - DAY 1)
www.slobodan-milosevic.org - December 19, 2003
Retired American General Wesley Clark testified in front of The Hague Tribunal on Monday and Tuesday. From the outset it was apparent that his testimony would be stage-managed and restricted so as not to embarrass the "perfumed prince" or his government.
At the outset President Milosevic objected to the terms of Clark's testimony saying, "I don't quite understand the position of this witness since my understanding was that he would be testifying in closed session and that you described that as a temporarily closed session, and then, in the meantime, representatives of the government of his country may be able to review the transcript, to approve some of it, to redact some of it possibly, and only then to release it to the public. I am not aware of any legal court in the world delegating its authority of this kind to any government. This would be the first time for any such thing to happen. Of course, you consider yourself to be a legal court."
It turned out that the U.S. Government had no real need to redact the transcript. President Milosevic's ability to cross-examine Clark was so radically limited that he couldn't ask any questions unless the prosecution had already asked about the topic first. Essentially the prosecution dictated the terms of the cross-examination, and the so-called "trial chamber" enforced those terms.
Before Clark's testimony even started the so-called "Presiding Judge" Richard May, expressed concern that Clark's witness statement was too broad, and would therefore enable too wide-ranging of a cross-examination by President Milosevic.
Mr. May also expressed concern that admitting Wesley Clark's book would enable President Milosevic to ask questions about the contents of the book. Therefore, it was decided that the book would not be exhibited, with the stated objective being to limit President Milosevic's cross-examination.
After the Examination-in-chief was concluded, Mr. May was very keen to limit the cross-examination. The fist thing he said to President Milosevic was "Mr. Milosevic, before you begin cross-examining, you should know that there are parameters in this case beyond which you cannot go. We've already made an order which restricts the scope of cross-examination. I'm not going to go into the reasons for it again. It is limited to the statement which the witness has given, which means that you are restricted in a way that you are not restricted with other witnesses, because then you're allowed to ask any relevant matters. You're restricted in this case to the witness's evidence. So you can give -- ask him questions, of course, about what he's said here but not about other evidence. He's given no other evidence against you apart from the matter which General Clark has dealt with here. So your cross-examination in this case is limited."
"We have refused to admit the book. It's not part of the evidence. We therefore will not allow some free-ranging cross-examination through it, but you may, if you are entitled to do so, and that will be a matter of relevance, you can, if you wish, ask General Clark about passages of the book which are related to his evidence, and that largely will be -- not entirely will be the matters which are already underlined. So subject to those matters, of course you may conduct your cross-examination, but you will be stopped if you go beyond those particular bounds."
Wesley Clark's examination-in-chief was of no real value to the prosecution. He had no important evidence to speak of. In fact he made a better case against himself than he did against Milosevic.
On August 1, 1975 the Helsinki Final act was signed by the U.S. Government and also by Yugoslavia.
Signatories to the Helsinki final act are obliged under Sec. VI to “refrain from any form of armed intervention or threat of such intervention against another participating State,” and to “refrain from direct or indirect assistance to terrorist activities, or to subversive or other activities directed towards the violent overthrow of the regime of another participating State.”
Section II of the Helsinki Final Act states that “the participating States will refrain from any acts constituting a threat of force or direct or indirect use of force against another participating State. Likewise they will refrain from any manifestation of force for the purpose of inducing another participating State to renounce the full exercise of its sovereign rights. Likewise they will also refrain in their mutual relations from any act of reprisal by force.”
“No such threat or use of force will be employed as a means of settling disputes, or questions likely to give rise to disputes, between them.”
During his examination-in-chief Clark explained that he met with Milosevic several times in order to force him to withdraw Yugoslav army and police forces from Kosovo. Clark says he told Milosevic that if he didn’t remove the army and the police then NATO would attack Yugoslavia.
I knew that Clark was evil, but I had no idea that he was so incredibly stupid. He just confirmed to the world that he, Wesley Clark, went to a sovereign state and told the head of state that unless they removed their army and their police forces from their own territory that they would be bombed, and as we know Yugoslavia was bombed.
Wesley Clark quite clearly proved that he broke international law, but he didn’t demonstrate that Milosevic did, his “evidence” was worthless to the prosecution.
At one point Clark bragged to Mr. Nice that he told Milosevic, “NATO is going to be asking – these [NATO] leaders are going to be asking what is it that you [Milosevic] are trying to do to this country? You forced professors to sign loyalty oaths, you have crushed democracy, you have taken a vibrant economy, you've wrecked it. They're going to be asking, what kind of a leader are you?"
First of all, what Clark said was completely untrue. Professors didn’t have to sign any loyalty oaths to Milosevic. Not even professors who support DOS allege such a stupid thing. The economy was wrecked by sanctions imposed from outside, and Milosevic was elected in multiparty elections.
Clark went on to explain to Mr. Nice that after he made that remark to Milosevic then he didn’t make any more progress with him in the “negotiations”. Will wonders never cease? Wesley Clark went to Yugoslavia, met with the head of state, presented him with threats and ultimatums, generally behaved like a belligerent jerk, hurled lies and insults at him, and now he wonders how come he didn’t get anywhere? How dumb can this guy be? The man seems to take pride in his own arrogance.
The only thing that Clark said, which even remotely incriminated Milosevic was when he said that he asked Milosevic: "Mr. President, you say you have so much influence over the Bosnian Serbs, but how is it then, if you have such influence, that you allowed General Mladic to kill all those people in Srebrenica?" Clark said that Milosevic replied by saying, “Well, General Clark, I warned Mladic not to do this, but he didn't listen to me.”
Of course the only alleged witness to this alleged conversation was Joseph Kruzel, and he’s dead. But it defies belief that Milosevic would tell someone like Wesley Clark something like that. Slobodan Milosevic has never attributed any killings at Srebrenica to Mladic. Slobodan Milosevic has consistently claimed that mercenaries, and not the VRS, carried out killings. Secondly, he has consistently stated that he fond out about Srebrenica after the fact, so how could he have told Mladic not to do it ahead of time?
Because Kruzel is dead, we have Clark’s word against Milosevic’s word, and Milosevic branded Clark’s claim as a blatant lie. I’m inclined to agree with Milosevic here. I don’t believe for a second that Milosevic said that. It conflicts with everything else he had been saying. I find it very hard to believe that Milosevic would confide in Wesley Clark and tell him something that he didn’t tell anybody else.
Wesley Clark spoke about the MUP and VJ’s actions in Kosovo, Mr. Nice asked him to explain what his sources of information were and Clark replied by saying, “I got this from both the news media and other reliable sources.”
The news media, and some unnamed “reliable sources.” Well now I really am impressed with the prosecution’s case! Mr. Nice got the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and the former Commander-in-Chief of the United States European Command to testify on the basis of what he saw in the media. Excelsior to you Mr. Nice! Words can’t express how impressed I am with your case.
When the cross-examination did start, Mr. May limited it to two and a half hours. As he explained to President Milosevic, ”two and a half hours should be adequate to deal with the limited matters which the witness has given in evidence.” In other words “Judge” May was saying, “Why should we give you a bunch of time? We won’t let you ask him anything anyway.”
The elephant in the room was of course Wesley Clark’s command over the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, and President Milosevic was prohibited from asking him any questions about that.
Yes you read that right, Slobodan Milosevic was the president of Yugoslavia, and while he was the president of Yugoslavia, Wesley Clark conducted a war against Yugoslavia, and this “minor detail” was something that President Milosevic was prohibited from asking questions about.
Let’s get this perfectly clear President Milosevic asked the following question, “Mr. May, just in order to clarify the basic attitude towards me in relation to this witness, is it in dispute that General Clark was in command of NATO during the war against Yugoslavia? And is it disputed that that was his most important role in everything that related to Yugoslavia? And is it in dispute that you're not allowing me to ask him anything at all about that?”
Mr. May’s response was “That's right,” and so President Milosevic asked him again. He said, “So I cannot ask him anything at all about the war waged by NATO against Yugoslavia. Is that what you're saying?” And May said, “Yes.”
At that point President Milosevic denounced the proceedings as a farce, and then in order to prove President Milosevic right “judge” May said, “I also restrict your comments too.”
The first substantive topic that Clark spoke about in cross-examination was his meeting with Mladic regarding the Contact Group Plan in 1994. For some reason Clark went out of his way to describe Mladic as angry and belligerent, he said that the meeting was unproductive because of Mladic’s alleged intransigence.
Pictures from the meeting tell a different story. They show a smiling Clark, and a happy looking Mladic wearing each other’s hats like a couple of buddies out having a good time.
The Cross-examination was grinding and tedious. President Milosevic was repeatedly prohibited from bringing up matters of key importance.
Milosevic attempted to bring up the fact that Wesley Clark admitted in the November 17, 2003 issue of the New Yorker that NATO’s Kosovo war was “technically illegal” because according to Clark, “The Russians and the Chinese said they would both veto it. There was never a chance that it would be authorized.”
I guess if Clark thinks that the NATO bombing was “technically illegal” then that makes him technically a war criminal, because he commanded it. Unfortunately, Milosevic couldn’t make that point because his microphone was constantly being switched off by Mr. May.
Mr. May was behaving as if the U.S. Government had attached electrodes to his testicles and would give him a shock if he allowed Milosevic to even get a question related to the war out of his mouth. Mr. May was unusually quick to switch off Milosevic’s microphone during Clark’s so-called “testimony.”
During Clark’s examination-in-chief he boasted that he took Milosevic aside and “warned him that if he didn't comply with the request of the United Nations [SC RES 1199], that action would be taken against him in the form of bombing.” The “request” Clark is referring to is the withdrawal of Yugoslav security forces from Kosovo.
President Milosevic asked Clark if Resolution 1199 authorized the use of force against Yugoslavia and all Clark would say was, “The content of the Resolution is a matter of public record, and I was following the instructions from NATO and from my government.”
Clark is right, it is a public document, and it turns out that Resolution 1199 doesn’t authorize any bombing. Therefore, the instructions issued to Clark by the U.S. Government and NATO contradicted the resolution.
Furthermore Resolution 1199 simply demanded, “the withdrawal of security units used for civilian repression.” Seeing as how no Yugoslav army or police units were in Kosovo for the purpose of repressing civilians Yugoslavia wasn’t obliged to withdraw any of its security forces. All of Yugoslavia’s security forces were in Kosovo to protect the civilians.
Clark was obviously interpreting Resolution 1199 to suit his own purposes. I’m sure NATO was already planning its war and Clark was just looking to get any resistance to a potential NATO ground invasion out of Kosovo. Therefore, Clark was telling Yugoslavia to get its forces out of Kosovo and he was using this vaguely worded part of the resolution as his justification.
I’ll post a report on Day 2 of the Wesley Clark farce tomorrow.
# # #